Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday said the "traitors" who left the party would be welcome if they wanted to return. He was speaking at a public gathering in Bhiwandi city in Thane, the home district of rebel Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
"The traitors, if they want to return to the Shiv Sena, they would be welcome. But we have been deeply hurt by their actions. We trusted them, embraced them and they stabbed us in the back," said the young Sena leader.
Aaditya, son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, has launched a "Nishtha Yatra" (loyalty march) to reach out to party workers who are still with the Uddhav Thackeray camp.
He also took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying the Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by his father never snooped on its own MLAs, MPs and other leaders. "My father and (then) chief minister Uddhav Thackeray was unwell. He was recovering when the opportunity was sought to betray him," he said.
Asked by reporters in Mumbai about Aaditya's barbs, chief minister Shinde said, "Let him speak whatever he wants to. We are responding to his criticism with our work."Our political stand has been vindicated by the people of Maharashtra as we are garnering more and more support," he added.
(With PTI Inputs)